IISD-International Tiger Day Urges Action to Protect Remaining 3,000 Wild Tigers



29 July 2016: On International Tiger Day, UN entities called for urgent action to combat illegal trade in wildlife and to protect tigers. As part of its 2016 ‘Wild for Life' campaign, the UN reiterated its call for everyone to stop wildlife trafficking and crime.



International Tiger Day aims to promote the protection and expansion of wild tiger habitats and increase awareness of tiger conservation. According to the UN, 97% of all wild tigers have been lost over the past 100 years, with approximately 3,000 tigers remaining in the wild.



Illegal trade represents the largest threat to wild tiger populations, according to the UN. It identifies declining habitat, human-wildlife conflict and climate change as additional threats. On the day, the UN also highlighted how wildlife crime undermines national development by diverting financial resources to organized crime cartels.



“Everyone has a role to play in stopping the shameful illegal trade in wildlife, be they police, customs officials, lawmakers, community leaders, prosecutors, judges, businesses or citizens,” said UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Acting Regional Director, Isabelle Louis. She emphasized, “Decisive action against the illegal trade in wildlife is needed to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” UNEP recommended coordinating action across source, transit and destination countries in strategic hotspots and increasing public awareness to put pressure on governments to reduce demand for illegally traded wildlife and wildlife products and enforce laws.



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